ELDRED - Last week when Eldred's population swelled from about 300 to 5,000 for the Eldred American Legion's Queen of Hearts drawing, area law enforcement worked in unison with crowd control and to keep the area safe.

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In this day and age, area law enforcement teams together in many difficult types of situations and this was just another example.

Calhoun County Sheriff William Heffington said he thought it was important to provide assistance to their neighbor - the Greene County Sheriff's Office at the drawing.

"The most serious incident involved a drunk driver hitting someone head-on, damaging their car," Heffington said. "The drunk driver then fled from the scene. Luckily, no one was injured."

Sheriff Heffington reported the drunk driver from the head-on crash, then detained her until a Greene County officer could get there and arrest her for DUI. Sheriff Heffington said there were some reports of fights, but nothing serious developed out of that.

All of the Greene County officers were tied up with crowd control and traffic control, Sheriff Heffington said, so the sheriff and two Calhoun deputies did go to Eldred to assist.

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Sheriff Heffington said unfortunately, some complained that Calhoun County officers left Calhoun to assist Greene County.

"Some complained that Calhoun County resources and manpower were used outside of Calhoun," the sheriff said. "Well...the entire concept is called Mutual Aide, and this is actually required of Illinois Law Enforcement Agencies. Furthermore, the Greene County Sheriff's Office does so much for Calhoun County and for CCSO, that we would help them anytime they needed it."

"Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen and Chief Deputy Cale Hoseman go above and beyond to help us all the time, especially with Calhoun County jail inmates that are held at the Greene County Jail. Also, the driver of the car that was hit by the drunk driver called Calhoun County Sheriff's Office and since Sheriff Bill was in the area and he was able to get the suspect stopped, the innocent party will get his car damage taken care of by insurance. The innocent party from the crash was able to get the drunk driver's name, and insurance information from our system."

The two other Calhoun deputies also gave much-appreciated help to the Greene County officers with traffic control and crowd control.

The sheriff added: "If there is another huge drawing again in the near future, CCSO will be in Greene County again to help out. Greene County will be here in Calhoun anytime we need their help too.

"The same goes for Jersey County, they help us out all the time, and Jersey County Sheriff John Wimmersberg is making sure that the new Calhoun radio frequency is being installed into the Jersey County patrol cars, to assure that Jersey County Deputies can hear what is happening in Calhoun, and can communicate with Calhoun officers. Sheriff Wimmersberg wants his deputies to help Calhoun anytime there is something serious or dangerous going on, and we need help over here."

Sheriff Heffington closed by saying: "The moral of the story......this little tri-county area of ours depends on teamwork from the law enforcement agencies, and that is what we do. We do that for a common goal, to keep the citizens of our communities safe."

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